Abacus, the Asian fusion restaurant that put Dallas chef Kent Rathbun on the culinary map, will close its doors at the end of the month.
Owner Bill Hyde announced the restaurant’s shutter in a statement on Wednesday, attributing the closure to changes in dining preferences. “Our decision to retire the Abacus brand is based on changing times and palates which require us to prepare for the next decades of dining,” Hyde said. “I can assure you we will continue to pursue the same attention to detail and service aspects of your dining experience that established our well-earned industry reputation.”
When it opened in 1999, Abacus was a darling of the Dallas dining scene, earning Rathbun multiple James Beard Award nominations. In the past few years, though, the restaurant has struggled, thanks in part to a pair of lawsuits filed by its founders. In 2016, Rathbun parted ways with the restaurant, and shortly after, filed a lawsuit against H2R Restaurant Holdings, the company he founded with Hyde.
That lawsuit sought to have a 2009 agreement voided that entitled the group to exclusive use of Rathbun’s name and personal image, which meant that the chef was forced to describe himself as “The Chef With No Name” until that lawsuit was cleared up. In 2017, a judge ruled that Rathbun could once again use his name to open restaurants associated with his name, as long as he did not disparage his former business partner. Rathbun has since opened another Asian fusion restaurant, Imoto, in the Dallas Arts District.
Abacus will serve its last lobster shooters on June 1. A new restaurant is set to follow from the Abacus Jasper’s Restaurant Group this summer.